Monday, October 7, 2013

Dollars & Recentments

I actually have a lot of respect for thieves, because at least they're doing something other than whinging! Unlike some...

Like the law-abiding, low to middle class. When it comes to money, all they do is whinge, whinge, whinge! And in my head, I’m like “Why couldn’t you just rob me? I’d prefer it!” I'm a middle-class guy. Of course, things could be better, but I could also be selling heroine to ten year olds out of a Mr. Whippy truck, so things could be much worse. I've always appreciated growing up middle class too, because most of the people I've met that were born into money I'm pretty sure have lived their lives with paper bags over their heads. But somewhere in my middle-class schooling, I must have been sick the day they taught us that we should resent the rich simply because they can write bigger cheques. We hate the wealthy! How do I know this? Because the main and most common complaint among non-wealthy folks like me about the upper one percent is 'if they have so much money, why don't they just give shit away for free?' And that makes zero fucking sense!

These people have such a bittersweet and delicate sense of entitlement, I don't know where they get that from.

They say things like "Why do these headphones cost so much, Sony have lots of money?" "Why do I have to pay for parking, Frank Lowy is a billionaire?" "Why aren't Michael Jackson's albums free, he's loaded (and dead!)?" But all I hear is: Stomp! Stomp! Whinge! Whinge! 'Why do they have more money than meeee? Not fair!'

What? Is there something that we don't understand about money? Is this the reason why we don't have a lot of it, because we're so dumb that we don’t know how to play this big Monopoly board we live on? Maybe it's because most of us haven't read the rules. One of the principles of the game is the more property and houses a person owns, the more money other people owe them; where did we get the idea that it was the other way round? It's this crazy notion that the heavier the pockets, the higher the lower classes should be lifted. But the rich don't stand on a balance-beam with the poor, they're in a whole different playground. In fact, every business lives in it's own playground, and like children, we the consumers play, play, play!

The rich aren't somehow duty-bound to the poor and there isn’t some rich rite of passage stipulating that from there on in they need to make concessions to the poor simply because their are a lot of numbers in their bank account. Sure, it would be nice, I'm not saying that it wouldn't be nice, but not everybody is like Bill Gates! And even he's not giving Windows away for free.

The funny thing is that the ninety nine percent are happy to hand over kings ransom amounts of money to business-owners they deem to be of equal or lower class to them, but if they meet those same people later on down the track whom have had ten or twenty years to build their business and have had the time to make sizable amounts of money as a result of that hard-work -"Fuckin' rich arsehole! Wanting my money! Fuckin' dick!" The same person and they would hate them! What these classes fail to appreciate is that most rich people were like us once. Not all rich people are Kim Kardashian, they're actually more like rappers. They're born with little money but then went out and earned lots of it, and now they're rich; you think they would know that by now, it's in like a million hip hop songs!

I'm confused. Is it also not understood that the whole business thing doesn't just somehow change the moment a person becomes successful? It's exactly the same as when they started with peanuts. (Whatever that means? Do poor people eat a lot of legumes? What's the deal?) The company may be bigger now, bigger account, more staff, but the core-concept of business still remains exactly the same - they earn money in return for a service or product. Very, very simple stuff! (No Economics Degree required)

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of attending Westfield's Annual General Meeting where nine percent of shareholders voted for the Australian Mr Selfridge himself to step down as CEO of the company; nine percent, I soon learnt, is a lot. The reason? They felt that he, Frank Lowy, was earning too much from the company. In fact, get this, 'too much' in their minds was anything at all. They wanted him to work for no pay because, wait for it, the Lowy family already has enough wealth, so why should they have anymore! What's this bullshit that they're already wealthy enough? Get over it! Now, I know that I have no experience in shareholding and I did also get the impression that the shareholders felt that his pay grossly outweighed his current contribution to the company, but so what! He's one of the founding fathers of the company! Here's a man whom not only grew up with no money, but he also grew up as a Jew in Hungary during World War Two, not exactly something you want to be at that particular time in that place if you like your freedom. Then, while most of us would spend the rest of our lives whinging and crying on the leather couch (which we do anyway), fifty years ago he moved to Australia, built a department store in Blacktown and since then has turned it into a multibillion, multinational company. As far as I'm concerned, with all the time already spent coupled with the heartache of his childhood, he can do as little work for as much money as he wants! Even if I did have money tied up in his company, the man has paid his dues!

It's not that I want to bang the guy, but I'm just giving you a classic example of rich people resenting richer people. Instead of ‘why should I pay so much for these headphones, you're a rich company’, it's ‘why should we invest in your company if you're going to get paid, aren't you rich enough!’

So, it just goes to show that it doesn't matter: poor hating the rich, rich hating the richer, it's all the same fuckin' shit! People resent others whom have more money and they expect them to pay for things. So for anybody whom has anything more to comment on how the rich should somehow serve our financial needs, here are some instructions on what to do.

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